Chef Mil

Berkeley, CA

Female, 49

I have been working in restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years (two of the restaurants had been in the SF Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants). I have cooked mostly Mediterranean food, but have some experience with Asian food. I went to cooking school, and worked my way up from being a prep cook (think--prepping 3 cases of artichokes, de-boning 100 quail, and juicing a case of lemons!) to being a chef at a well known restaurant in my area. And no, I am not the yelling type! :)

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93 Questions


Last Answer on March 14, 2013

Best Rated

I would love to open cooking classes for local enthusiasts in a beautiful waterfront location. I would like to hire chef's to teach the classes. How much do you think I should expect to pay a chef for 4 hours of their time?

Asked by Brigitte over 11 years ago

Hi Brigitte, Thanks for the question. I use to work for a culinary team building company based out of San Francisco. It was similar in that we would coach clients. The rate would rise or fall according to the number of clients, the type of event, how far the chef had to travel, and how hard it was to load the venue for the event, etc. This company had charts to figure out this kind of stuff, but looking at my pay stubs, it seems to average around $30 an hour. Good luck with your school!

Hi Chef Mil! This is a great read, thanks! Can you recommend a good all-purpose kitchen knife for under $100? And what do you recommend to keep it sharp as long as possible?

Asked by Tori over 11 years ago

Hi Tori, Thank you very much! You are welcome. Not sure how to answer this question because I don't know how much cooking you do. In general, I would recommend the 10 inch white handled Dexter knives. I know everyone likes Wusthof knives, but I bought a 10 inch Wusthof in 1992 and it cost almost $100 then. The Dexters seem to last in a restaurant kitchen which sees very heavy use. So, when you get your knife, get it professionally sharpened. Make sure to buy a steel along with your knife which does not sharpen a knife but straightens the microscopic teeth on a knife edge which keeps it sharp. Steel the knife every 15 minutes. I think that one action really helps keep a knife's edge. Let me know if there are any other questions I might answer for you. Mil :)

Hello, I’m looking at making a pumpkin moose pie. Can I had fireball whiskey for flavor?

Asked by Niccimouse over 4 years ago


Why does my graham cracker crust always stick to my metal pan.... I follow directions butter graham cracker an butter it alway stuck to bottom of pan please help

Asked by Gwen over 4 years ago


I am concerned about something I ate. I purchased mushrooms from a store. They look and smell fine. Once cooked they smelled funky. I ate two slices and found the taste to be funky too. Is this normal? Will I be sick? Kindly, Chancey.

Asked by Chancey almost 3 years ago


I am just a household cook. I can recognize, GENERALLY, by smell Italian oregano+garlic, Mexican chili+cilantro, American BBQ smoky sweet, Indian curry, Chinese soya mixed veggies meats, Hungarian paprika. Pls,list a few other famous combinations

Asked by John Jason about 4 years ago


I've yet to find a good answer for this: how do I heat up leftovers WITHOUT COOKING THEM MORE!? Like if I put a medium-rare steak in the fridge, how do I warm it up the next day while keeping it medium-rare? Won't any method overcook it to medium?

Asked by QQQ over 11 years ago